REACTIK Network is an international consortium which unites scholars from Israel, Poland, Denmark, India, Japan and New Zealand.
The overall goal of the REACTIK project is to broaden the field of European integration studies by incorporating the domain of European Cultural Diplomacy (ECD) and European Culture Policy (ECP) in the research and activities of European Study Centers and Academies for Art and Design. The project will develop an inter-regional, collaborative academic space to enhance the study of ECD and ECP. The developments in European culture policy in recent years, and after publishing the joint declaration on EU strategy for international cultural relations in 2016 in particular (JOIN/2016/029 final), have set the stage for exploring European integration studies from a further social and economic perspective- that of culture policy and practice.
Culture and culture policy have always been perceived as a significant national socialization instrument through which countries and nations shape their collective memory, sense of belonging to bring to better social cohesion. From a European perspective, culture plays a crucial role in the European integration process, as cultural assimilation was, and still is, one of the cornerstones enabling the union to perform as a unified social body. In recent years, arts, design and culture have also obtained another role, as they are the forces pushing the “Creative Economy” forward.
Team New Zealand includes Professor Natalia Chaban (Jean Monnet Chair, leading partner) and Dr Serena Kelly (researcher).
Read more about the Network
As culture policy is bonded with economic growth, CP has a great influence on the so called “creative economy”. Based on ideas rather than physical capital, the creative economy straddles economic, political, social, cultural issues and is at the crossroads of the arts, business and social forces (Van der Pol, 2007). The CP and Creative Economy are derived from an unlimited resource – that of human creativity. From that perspective it is to assume that the common European cultural agenda seek to utilize the endless growth potential and resources found at the core of every European society. For this purpose, the EU establish ties with many agents in the field of culture such as national cultural institutions, museums, orchestras, festivals and industries via various funding mechanisms.
Globalization, and other economic and social developments in the 21st century have brought the EU to the understanding that a common culture policy should not be applied solely on its MSs, but rather be used as an instrument in its external relations that will enable the EU to promote its interests, economy, norms and values around the world. Article 167 of TFEU stipulates that the Union and its MS shall foster cooperation with third countries and the competent international organizations in the sphere of culture. In other words, the EU grasps culture as an instrument equal in its importance to political or economic power, hence wish to endeavor its cultural and creative assets to better assert its influence on a global scale.
Under the titles of “European Agenda for Culture in a Globalizing World” and “Engaging the World: Towards Global Cultural Citizenship” The EU promotes a supernational “cultural diplomacy” aiming at achieving its external relations strategic objectives in third countries. The EU perceives culture as a key element of sustainable development, as it believes that the creative industries can promote reconciliation, growth and freedom of expression on which other fundamental freedoms can be built. Therefore, the ECP has been shaped to achieve a dual mission: first, to foster the social and cultural cohesion within Europe itself and second, an external dimension designed to reach out and influence third countries. For that aim, an EU Cultural Diplomacy Platform has been established, envisioned to strengthen the EU ability to engage with its partners across the globe: from international organisations, national governments, local authorities, civil society organisations and individual citizens. And indeed, it is evident that the EU has long become a prominent international “partner” to hundreds of cultural endeavors and became an enthusiastic promoter of the “creative industries” and their role in economy.
Based upon state of the art research in EU studies, the network wishes to raise the awareness for this under studied domain in the European Integration studies, and to provide answer for the following questions: What is the role of Cultural Diplomacy in the EU external relations? How can Cultural Diplomacy could be measured and evaluated? How does the EU implement its cultural strategic agenda? What are the tools and instruments used? What is the impact of these actions on non-EU countries? How does the ECP affect the perceptions of non-EU countries on the EU? How does the target countries react to the power put on them, if at all? All these questions and more will be discussed during a 3 years long project, aiming at establishing a new sub-discipline within the EU studies: European culture diplomacy research.
Network´s specific objectices
Team New Zealand participated in two research workshops in Year 1:
- Research Meeting #1 Jerusalem, Israel, January 2019 (virtual participation)
- Research Meeting #2 Copenhagen, Denmark, May 2019
Team New Zealand has prepared several reports (for the two workshops, as well as Technical Report for Year 1)
Team New Zealand conducted field work and data collections for the country-specific case-studies
- interviews with European diplomats engaged in cultural diplomacy activities
- analysis of the cultural diplomacy digital communications by the EU and its member states towards NZ
Team New Zealand participates in two research workshops in Year 2:
- Research Meeting #3 Delhi, India, Januar 2020
- Research Meeting #4 Krakow, Poland, October 2020